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Dance studio in step with service to community

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Kevin and Jessie Krick believe art and community service make a fine team in Auburn. The owners of In Sync Dance, Kids Helping Kids Foundation on Grass Valley Highway promote both in their non-profit dance business, which they bought in 2002. “This was a way to indulge ourselves into a family business that was beneficial not only to our children, but countless other children who have come and gone,” co-owner Kevin Krick said. “And then to be able to put something back into the community is just a real rewarding feeling.” The company is unique in that it does not just provide lessons in various types of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, ballroom dancing and more, but it offers an outlet for community service as well. Kids Helping Kids is a non-profit foundation that is a part of the company. It offers aid to Auburn families and children in need. Kevin said the idea for the foundation came when the couple realized how many volunteers the studio had at its disposal. “When we purchased the studio, we realized shortly thereafter that there was an opportunity to really make an impact on the community given all the people we had available to us,” Kevin said. “And a specific group of what we call company dancers that perform at … events around the region, promoting both the foundation and the studio, that is kind of the core of the foundation.” Kevin said parents, siblings and other family members volunteer their time alongside the dancers to put events together for the foundation. Jessie Krick said Kids Helping Kids is a necessary part of In Sync Dance, because dancing is often such an individualized experience. “Dance is kind of like a selfish discipline, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to not only teach our (daughters) but other people that there’s more to life than just indulging yourself,” Jessie said. Auburn resident Jennifer Polly said she and her family were overwhelmed by the generosity of the foundation after they lost their house to a fire last year. This included giving her two daughters a chance to dance, something they had always wanted to do. “Jessie and Kevin Krick gave us three months free tuition,” Polly said. “We couldn’t afford to do that just then after losing everything. The parents at the studio were so helpful. They all brought in stuff, bakeware, clothes, toys. It really touched me that someone was going to reach out and help us in our time of need.” Auburn resident and mother Jenna Vance said her 8-year-old daughter Samantha has learned teamwork and discipline from helping with the foundation, and when Polly’s family was in need, Samantha didn’t hesitate to help. “It was not even a second thought to give (the two daughters) her toys, because she realized she needed to help,” Vance said. “It’s been a blessing to be a part of it. I can’t encourage enough parents to get involved.” Shanna Rutter, who has five children who dance at the studio, said her kids were motivated to get involved when they learned who they would be helping. “To know that (the aid is) going to another child, that has just meant a lot to my kids,” Rutter said. The foundation is broad in its types of aid. It helps local families with financial issues by hosting fundraisers as well as holding food drives and clothing drives when those items are needed. The kids who attend the studio and their families are always involved in these events, and this helps the young dancers become community-minded people, Kevin said “The gist of it is ‘kids helping kids,’” Kevin said. “It’s rewarding for the children who are here. We think the kids that are being turned out of here are better adults, and they might just take that a few steps further. We certainly know they’re gaining some values here that I don’t think they can get any place else.” The company opened its new location on Oct. 1 after moving from its previous location on Palm Avenue and will hold an open house from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday Nov. 1 for community members to come and learn more about In Sync Dance and Kids Helping Kids. The event will include hotdogs, drinks, free dance lessons and entertainment in the form of dance routines performed by kids of various ages. Those who come early can also see a group of 25 company dancers practicing in the parking lot for a performance they will be giving in Disneyland on Nov. 8. This performance will be aired Christmas morning on ABC. All community members are encouraged to contact the studio for lessons or if they are interested in donating time or resources to Kids Helping Kids, Kevin said. “We don’t disallow anyone from participating,” Kevin said. “We’re willing to team up with people who have more expertise in certain areas than we do. We’d like to grow this thing big while keeping the small town feel there.” The Journal’s Bridget Jones can be reached at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com or comment at Auburnjournal.com. ---------- In Sync Dance, Kids Helping Kids Foundation Where: 4055 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn Hours: Monday-Friday 3:30 to 9 p.m. Phone: (530) 823-6782 Web site: insyncdanceofauburn.com E-mail: insyncdance@juno.com Open house When: Noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1 Where: 4055 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn Call: (530) 823-6782